St Johns November 20 Newsletter | Page 7

Rules of the Game
Bryson walked to the second tee confident that he would be on the green in two shots . He was looking forward to an eagle putt to go with his birdie from the first hole . He took a mighty lash with his driver and said a bad word as his ball flew wildly down the left side headed toward the trees . He was not able to see where the ball landed and worried it could be out of bounds or even lost in a palmetto bush . If it were out of bounds or lost , he would have to return to the tee and play another ball , adding a penalty stroke to his score for the hole . Since he was not sure about the status of the ball , he decided to play another drive just in case .
In the meantime , Bud hit a high , long fade that carried over the fairway bunker on the right side , almost assuredly in the water . Collin hit a three-wood down the middle .
After Bud and Collin hit their drives , Bryson announced that he was playing another ball in case the original was out of play . The Rules of Golf permit a player to put another ball in play , called a “ provisional ” ball . Luckily for Bryson , his ball had struck a fence and bounced into the rough . He picked up the provisional ball , which was no longer relevant , and completed the hole . The stroke with the provisional ball did not count in his score . change from the Rules prior to 2019 when the ball had to be played before going forward to search .) Failure to follow the procedure results in the “ provisional ” ball being the ball in play , even if the original is found , so the announcement is an important step .
Provisional balls MAY NOT be used if the player believes his ball might be lost in a penalty area . That is why Bud did not hit a provisional for his wayward drive . In that case , the Rules insist that he go forward and confirm that the ball is in the penalty area . If that is the case , the player has relief options available under Rule17 . Play fair , hit ‘ em straight , and not too often .
Suggestions , comments , or questions … email thegolfnerd @ gmail . com .
Rule 18 explains when and how to use a provisional ball . Basically , the player must clearly announce to the other players that he is playing a provisional ball . The player may play a provisional ball any time within the three-minute search period . ( This marks a